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motobark

What you do to your '06 when it's raining too much to ride it...

45 posts in this topic

You polish that aluminum frame and swingarm! After all, aluminum was meant to be polished wasn't it? Sometimes when it's really quiet in my shop, aluminum parts start calling to me, they say "polish me, please polish me".

Ok, just kidding, I'm really not psycho, I just like the look of polished aluminum. I couldn't ride last weekend so I decided to spend a little time shining up the new bike. Now it looks as good as it rides. I've seen plenty of polished CRF's, but I haven't seen any YZ frames polished yet so I thought I'd post mine in case anyone's wondering what it would look like.

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Looks good my friend spent 8 hours taking apart and poloshing his cr125. From the looks of the pictures it doesn't look like you took it apart first but still looks really good.

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That looks sick as hell. It only takes long if you dont have the right tools. I have done many crs but I think I am going to leave my yz unpolished for a while.

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That is beautiful. I was going to say I saw a fingerprint, but I just could not bring myself to. Its my new desktop.

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Awesome. But now you created a monstor, It will consume you!!!! :confused::thumbsup: J/K I know I had a polished boat trailer once. I just couldnt stand to see a spot unpolished. It consumed me. :bonk::thumbsup:

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SWEET! :thumbsup: ... but I agree, you just became even more of a slave to your bike (not implying that you weren't already :thumbsup: ).

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What Did You Use!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DID YOU USE!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DID YOU USE!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DID YOU USE!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DID YOU USE!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DID YOU USE!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DID YOU USE!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DID YOU USE!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DID YOU USE!!!!!!!!!!

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Looks nice, but doesn't that make the frame slick and hard to grip with your legs?

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Oh dear, sorry guys, I didn’t mean to post and run but I was riding!

I rode yesterday until it was too dark to see and didn’t get back home until about 9. The more I ride this '06, the more amazed I am at how good it is compared to my '03 (Which was and still is an awesome bike itself.)

Thanks for the compliments on the bike. I’m much happier with how my ’06 looks now, the time I spent polishing it was worth it for me. I like my bikes to look as good as they work and a bike as amazing as these ‘06’s are deserved to look better than it did.

Here’s some info for those of you that want to attempt it yourselves. It’s not impossible but it helps if you have the right equipment and skills. I’ve learned tons from all the projects I’ve done before, it definitely makes something like this easier if you done it before. The swingarm is both easy and hard, it’s easier because you can take it off and hold it in your hands, that means you can use a benchtop buffer (if you have one). It’s hard though because they’re anodized and you can’t polish the aluminum until you get through the anodizing layer. I’ve bead blasted other swingarms, but this one I just sanded through the anodizing with a D/A. (air sander) Then went over it starting with 120grit, then 240, 400, all with the air sander. After that I soaked it in acid to even out the finish, using a Scotchbright pad with the acid. Then I went over it with 600, and finally 1500 and it was ready to polish. The polishing part only takes about 15 minutes if you have a good buffer, it’s definitely the easiest (and most exciting!) part of the whole job. After polishing it on the big buffer, I went over it by hand with a sealer/polish and it’s done. Total time I think I had into the swingarm was probably less than 4 hours.

I didn’t strip the frame down completely, I left the motor in and just moved the radiators out of the way. (I wouldn’t have had it back together in time to ride yesterday, that wouldn’t have been good!) That’s the cool thing about polishing, you can always go back later and make it better if you want. The hardest part about doing the frame (without pulling the motor and everything else) is you can’t use a benchtop buffer. I use air die grinders for polishing things I can’t use the big buffer on. They’re way better than trying to do it by hand, but not nearly as good as a ¾ hp solid mounted electric motor buffer. (You’ll also have to find a source for buffing wheels, the ones that work best can’t be bought at OSH or your local hardware store.) The frame was done pretty much the same way, except there’s no anodizing to get through. Some of the frame parts are really easy to polish, like the extruded tubes at the bottom front and the subframe. The kickstarter, shifter and brake levers are also super easy to make look like chrome, no prep at all, just took them to the buffer and 2 minutes later they’re done. I would say total time I spent on the frame was somewhere around 6 or 10 hours, I’m not exactly sure. (Basically it’s nice quiet time I spend out in my shop late at night, so it was like 3 or 4 nights of about 8 to 12pm, when most people are sitting on the couch watching TV.)

Yeah, it does take a little upkeep to keep it looking good, but it’s not that bad. And even if you never touch it again after you polish it, it still looks better than dull bumpy aluminum. I usually just go over it by hand every dozen rides or so, it takes about 10 minutes to go over the swingarm.

Like I said, it’s not that hard if you have the right equipment and you know what you’re doing, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it if you don’t. For those of you that want to try it, experiment on the underneath of the swingarm or on the frame under the gas tank. That way if it looks like too much work or you don’t have the right tools to do it, the spots you tried to polish won’t show. I wouldn’t even think about trying to polish a swingarm or frame by hand.

Good luck and thanks again for the compliments on the bike.

Oh, almost forgot… here’s the place I buy my buffing wheels and compounds at...

Buffing supplies

Spiral sewn cotton wheels and black/emery bars work the best on aluminum.

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Don't get me wrong, it looks good, but I prefer the look of the non-polished frame myself. To each his own, I'll leave mine unpolished :thumbsup:

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